Hundreds of Musicians Call for Amazon Boycott Over ICE Contracts

Via Rolling Stones | Jon Blistein

The new Amazon distribution center, which is the 6th to open in France.Opening of an Amazon Distribution Centre, Bretigny-sur-Orge, France - 22 Oct 2019

More than 100 musicians — including Deerhoof, Ted Leo, Guy Picciotto of Fugazi and Immortal Technique — have signed an open letter pledging to boycott all Amazon festivals and events until the tech giant stops working with Immigration Customs Enforcement.

The letter was posted Thursday via No Music for Ice, and states that the boycott will continue until Amazon meets four demands: Terminates its existing contract with ICE and other agencies “that commit human rights abuses”; stops providing Cloud services to companies like Peter Thiel’s Palantir, which aid deportations; end projects that encourage racial profiling and discrimination, like facial recognition; and refuse to work with the “aforementioned bad actors” going forward.

“We will not allow Amazon to exploit our creativity to promote its brand while it enables attacks on immigrants, communities of color, workers and local economies,” the letter read. “We call on all artists who believe in basic rights and human dignity to join us.”

The No Music for Ice letter came together thanks to the work of several artists and activists including Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis, Downtown Boys’ Joey La Neve DeFrancesco, Evan Greer, Adult Mom, @k8_or_die, Carmen Perry and Jes Skolnik. Other artists to sign the letter include Priests, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Xiu Xiu, Sheer Mag, Downtown Boys, Jeff Rosenstock, Sammus and Zola Jesus. Other artists and supporters are also encouraged to add their names to the letter.

The No Music for Ice letter notably follows the announcement of Amazon’s first music festival, Intersect, which is set to take place in Las Vegas this December. The festival caused a stir when one of the booked artists, DJ Black Madonna, posted on Twitter that she was “furious” over Amazon’s involvement and claimed the company had not been mentioned anywhere in the contract she signed (a spokesperson for Amazon claimed otherwise in a statement).

Ultimately, the Black Madonna pulled out of Intersect, saying, “This issue is not just ideological for me, it is a moral and ethical transgression against my work, my faith and most importantly the people I stand with.”

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